Ducks Unlimited Canada
PEI Grade 4 Wetland Field Trips 2019
The Gr 4 Wetland Field Trip Program (WFT) is an Atlantic-wide educational program designed to increase awareness and appreciation of wetlands among youth. Using direct curriculum links, this program targets Gr. 4 students to intervene early in development with messaging that encourages sustainability and environmentally conscious decision making. WFT provides youth with the foundation for understanding how Islanders can protect wetland biodiversity by engagement with educational resources and hands-on field trips to a local wetland. The primary goals for WFT in PEI for the 2018-19 school year (and fall 2019-20 school year) included:
1) Register 30 classes (approximately 750 students) to participate in WFT.
a. 20 classes to be delivered in spring 2019 and 10 in fall 2019 (2019-20 schools year).
2) Provide participating classes with a quality wetland field trips and educational resources.
3) Continue to partner with the Island Nature Trust to deliver the wetland fieldtrips. Provide support for them with the field trip delivery.
4) Ensure wetland field trip sites are safe, and accessible for students.
5) Share wetland education initiatives through media posts.
6) Provide feedback forms to each participating class to monitor the effectiveness of the program. The aim is to have an 80% return rate and to achieve a 90% satisfaction rate with the educational resources and the field trip.
7) Encourage WFT classes to become involved in environmental action projects at their schools and in their local communities.
In the 2018-19 school year and Fall 2019-20 schools year, WFT was delivered in 9 PEI Schools involving 29 classes equaling 663 students through partnership with the Island Nature Trust. Financial resources were used to provide:
(1) linked wetland education resources, both electronic and hard copy,
(2) a guided field trip to a local wetland that includes a bussing subsidy, and
(3) a wetland exploration kit for each student.
Providing this opportunity to teachers and students at minimal costs improves accessibility and facilitates greater registration in the program to gain maximum impact.
The feedback survey return was 76%, which is a large improvement over last year but still needs improvement. Moving forward DUC will work with the Island Nature Trust to improve the feedback return rate. The field trip satisfaction rating scored well at 86% Excellent or good.
WFT encourages youth to take stewardship of local ecosystems and associated wildlife through experiential learning. The longevity of this program demonstrates its efficacy in achieving education goals, leading it to become an expected and appreciated program by teachers across Atlantic Canada.